August 28, 2020
Dear Santa Clara University Community,
I write as a member of this community who -- like so many of you -- was deeply saddened by the painful events that occurred last Saturday. This recent incident made valued members of our community feel unsafe and raised questions about the commitment to antiracism on our campus. I want to affirm our commitment to racial justice and to healing the suffering caused by racism.
Fr. O’Brien has announced concrete and immediate steps that will be taken, including an independent investigation and a comprehensive audit of our safety and security policies, procedures, and protocols, both past and present. While the investigation proceeds, I respectfully ask that we keep in mind that all involved in this incident are members of our campus community. We are all committed to internal processes that ensure fairness to all. Each of us belongs to a larger SCU community fundamentally rooted in care and compassion. Our SCU Jesuit mission calls us to stand together for social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion for all. While we work together towards rooting out racism, discrimination, and bias, I ask that we do so in ways that heal our brokenness rather than further divide us. I hope that we may resist the urge to attack and condemn others, and instead channel that passion toward peace-making, bridge-building, and healing. I encourage each of you with your own team of colleagues to consider how to take concrete steps to participate in restorative justice.
Toward those ends, I am grateful to Fr. O’Brien for engaging a member of Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt’s SPARQ team from Stanford University to work with us across campus on implicit bias education and training. I welcome this training for myself; I need to keep learning to become more antiracist, more just, and more true to our mission. I hope that you set aside time to participate in ongoing opportunities for discussion, organized by the Office for Diversity and Inclusion and other departments. In addition, I invite you to contribute to our conversations and to voice your input as we work swiftly to identify and dismantle racial barriers that still exist across our academic systems, policies, and procedures. We will work with the existing collaborative governance bodies to improve our internal processes and to foreground the voices of our BIPOC students and colleagues.
In the coming weeks I will send out regular updates to the campus community on our racial justice and inclusion efforts. These efforts will center around our continuing work to address the critical needs identified in the Campus Climate Survey, the Blue Ribbon Commission and Task Force Reports, and the reports of the Unity movements. We will honor the voices heard across campus after the killing of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and then again this week; as well as those of the many faculty, students, staff and alumni who have written to me directly. These messages capture the voices of our most marginalized community members and those who have suffered in silence and fear for far too long.
As your Provost, I am committed to hearing, learning from, and elevating these voices, acknowledging their immense pain, and making it my mission to seek justice and healing for our community.
Lisa A. Kloppenberg Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs